Symposium marks progress in reshaping medical education

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Feb 102015

When East CarolinREACH QI Symp Jan 2015a University’s Brody School of Medicine was awarded a $1 million grant by the American Medical Association in 2013 to help shape how future doctors are trained, AMA leaders cited the school’s reputation for bold innovation.

That spirit of innovation was the guest of honor at a symposium held January 21 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU. The Quality Improvement Symposium showcased 25 quality improvement projects by faculty members across the health sciences. All are inaugural fellows in Brody’s Teachers of Quality Academy (TQA) who spent the past year pioneering ways to better meet the demands of a changing health care delivery system.

Brody established the academy shortly after being named one of only 11 medical schools to receive the five-year REACH (Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare) grant. The TQA is an eighteen-month faculty development program designed to prepare faculty to teach new curriculum in patient safety, quality improvement and population health in an environment of inter-professional, team-based care.

The symposium’s best oral presentation award went to Dr. Niti Armistead in the Department of Internal Medicine, for her work entitled, “Hypoglycemia and Harm Reduction through Education and Increased Use of Order Sets.” Honorable mentions for oral presentations were awarded to Dr. Jason Foltz, Department of Family Medicine, for his presentation, “Reduction in Primary Care No Show Rates,” and Dr. Megan Sippey, Department of Surgery, for her presentation, “Resident Education: Improving Surgical History and Physical Documentation.”

The best poster award went to Dr. Bryan Kitch, Department of Emergency Medicine, for his project, “Identification and Recognition of Boarding Psychiatric Patients Can Lead to Improved Medication Reconciliation.” Dr. Harry Adams, formerly in the Department of Internal Medicine and now with the Office of Medical Education, received honorable mention for his poster, “Integration of Pathology and Pharmacology Learning Issues into the Clinically Based Seminars in the M2 Introduction to Medicine Course.”

The academy has produced 20 new curricular components and student experiences that are already being infused into medical, allied health and nursing education across ECU.

To learn more about the REACH Initiative, visit




Paws for Study Break!

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Dec 022014

Paws for Study Break pic 1

As medical students near the end of the semester, the stress of finishing assignments and taking final exams mounts. Students welcome brief periods of relaxation during busy days of studying… and more studying. Students enjoyed spending time with Canopy the therapy dog during Paws for Study Breaks held on October 27 and November 13. Research indicates that interaction with therapy dogs can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain; levels of oxytocin and dopamine are increased, while cortisol levels are decreased.

 Canopy is a 7-year-old hound mix. She is from Louisiana, where she was obtained from a rescue. She’s been a registered therapy dog for just over 2 years. She is also registered as a READ dog which means that she often travels into public schools to help students strengthen their reading skills by allowing students to read to her.Paws for Study Break pic 3

 Her handler, Amy, is a doctoral student in psychology, working on her dissertation on the stress reducing benefits of interacting with therapy dogs. As a therapy dog-handler team, Amy and Canopy visit hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, and schools. They even created a therapy dog program at Kennedy-King College in Chicago in 2013.Paws for Study Break pic 2

The study breaks were sponsored by the Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling along with Pet Partners International.

ECU researcher presents 2014 Claude Bernard Distinguished Lecture

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Jul 232014

Carroll portrait BSOMDr. Robert G. Carroll, a professor of physiology in the Brody School of Medicine, was selected as the 2014 Claude Bernard Distinguished Lecturer by a national society this spring.

It is one of only 12 distinguished lectureships sponsored by the American Physiology Society and approved by the APS Council. The APS Teaching of Physiology section chose Carroll, who presented “The Social Contract of Learning” at the APS Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego on April 27. 

Bernard (1818-1878) was a famous French scientist and the founder of modern experimental physiology.

 Carroll earned his Ph.D. in 1981 under the direction of Dr. David F. Opdyke at the Department of Physiology of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Newark. This was followed by a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at University of Mississippi Medical Center under the sponsorship of Drs. Thomas E. Lohmeier and Arthur C. Guyton. 

Among his many service roles, Carroll is a past chair the education committee for the American Physiological Society and is chair of the education committee of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He served as chief editor of the Advances in Physiology Education journal for six years. In the past, he served on the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step I physiology test material development committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Carroll has worked at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine since 1984 where he also serves as interim associate dean of medical education.

Nov 122012

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average American consumes 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat in one Thanksgiving meal. Between breakfast, lunch and leftovers, a full day’s worth of eating could amount to 4,500 calories!

In a state and region plagued by skyrocketing obesity rates and diabetes, we can all stand to be a little more mindful of our holiday gluttony.

But don’t let that give you the holiday blues. ECU health experts want to help.

If you’re preparing the Thanksgiving meal this year, we’re pooling ideas to help you keep the calorie count under control without depriving your guests or alienating the picky eaters. We promise they will still want to come back next year.

Now through Nov. 22, ECU health sciences faculty will provide daily smart meal tips and healthy recipes to use on Turkey Day and year round.

Check back regularly or follow us on Twitter (@ECUNewsServices) to get insightful ideas from professionals at the Brody School of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Dental Medicine and College of Allied Health Sciences.

If you have tips of your own you’d like to share, we welcome your comments here or connect with us on Twitter.

Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor

ECU Division of Health Sciences